The annual costs of added health care and lost productivity that stem from lack of exercise (and the resulting obesity) in British Columbia are pegged at $347-$647 million by a new study.

Call it half a billion dollars a year. That’s about 0.3 percent of annual economic output. And it doesn’t count the real toll: about 6 percent of premature deaths in the province each year.

The Northwest states do worse. And the global dimensions of the obesity epidemic are just coming into focus.